Written by Aimee Lyons
Weddings are beautiful and expensive, especially if you’re lucky enough to be in the bridal party. On top of wedding attire and gifts to buy, there are showers to throw and parties to plan. After it’s all said and done, the average bridesmaid can easily spend $1,000 or more. One of the biggest expenses is, of course, the bachelorette celebration. It’s also one of the easiest places to cut costs. The good news is that a low budget doesn’t have to mean low class. A bachelorette party on a budget can be just as memorable and fun with a little planning.
Set a budget
First and foremost, decide how much you want to spend on putting the event together. If you’ll be splitting the cost, don’t forget to ask the rest of the bridesmaids how much they are willing to contribute. (You can send a quick email, or you can use an online form if you prefer to keep it anonymous.) Once you have a number in mind, you can choose from a variety of low-cost, high-fun activities and start planning. Additionally, to ensure you keep everything within your budget, it’s important to find ways to save cash. For example, according to Rakuten’s 19 Ways to Save at Macy’s, take advantage of the retailer’s price adjustments, enroll in the store’s rewards program, and look into Macy’s Friends and Family sales. Remember that you can apply these strategies even if you decide to shop somewhere besides Macy’s.
Keep it small
Traditionally, bachelorette parties were for the bride-to-be and her bridesmaids. Over time, the guest list has grown to include other friends and family members. While that might make for a good time, it also requires a bigger budget. You don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but if you’re the one footing the bill, you don’t have to invite the bride’s cousin’s friend. And don’t forget to discuss the guest list with everyone beforehand. If they know it’s an intimate affair, they’ll be less likely to extend additional invitations.
Do lunch (or brunch)
Eating dinner at a restaurant can easily get expensive, especially when you’re in a group. If you plan your event earlier in the day, you can serve a lighter meal for less money. To save even more, forgo a catered or restaurant event altogether. Instead, ask each of the bridesmaids to bring a dish or ingredient, and cook a meal at one of your homes.
Just say no to alcohol
One of the easiest ways to cut costs is to eliminate the bar tab altogether. (This is also a good tip if you’re planning a party for a sober bride-to-be.) You can still put together signature, non-alcoholic mocktails to match your theme. Or you can stick with coffee, tea, and water and splurge on decadent desserts instead. As an added bonus, without the drinks, you’ll remember every moment of fun you’ve had celebrating the bachelorette party.
Skip the swag
Sure, satin sashes, matching t-shirts, and take-home goodies get everyone amped up the day of the party. After that though, these items will rarely (if ever) get used again. You can save a ton of cash by forgoing the kitschy decor and accessories all together. Instead, pick a simple color scheme. Decorate with simple paper goods in solid colors, and incorporate items you already own like vases, serving dishes, and table linens. If you want, you can even ask the group to coordinate their outfits to match the theme.
Spend the night inside.
Sometimes, just hanging out together is all it takes to have a good time. Instead of heading to a club, hotel, or hosting a huge party at a fancy restaurant, why not just hang out at home and have some fun?! You can order takeout or offer a spread of fun munchies so you're covered on the food side. For entertainment, you can break out an assortment of games, rent a karaoke machine, or just hang out and listen to your favorite music. And when it’s time to wind down, everyone can put on their PJs and stream a variety of programs, from whatever rom-com Netflix has this month to some nostalgic TV shows. What’s more, you’ll save a lot of money by keeping things low-key, instead of extravagant.
When you’re planning a celebration of a friend in love, it’s easy to go overboard. That’s why it’s important to stick to the plan you’ve created. It may also help to remind yourself why you’re celebrating in the first place. It’s not about how much money you’ve spent or how big a party you threw. The whole point of the event is to have fun and make memories with the bride and her best friends.